The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has made plans to convert the boys’ hall, Katanga Hall, into a mixed hall.
The decision has been met with much hostility from both residents and alumni of Katanga Hall.
Speaking to Pan African Television, University Relations Officer, Kwame Yeboah Jnr. defended the school’s decision by explaining that this move is in a bid to increase the female population of the school, which is currently at about 31% of the school.
He disclosed that the school has been trying for many years to increase the number of females in the STEM sector (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Thus, in order to significantly increase the female population, additional space has to be created for their accommodation. Hence why the hall is being converted to a mixed hall.
Many of the hall’s alumni however, disagree with the university’s decision and find fault with the reasons given for their move.
In an interview with Pan African TV, an alumnus known to the station as “DB”, revealed that the University Council (UC) has taken this to decision so as to gain full control over the students at KNUST.
His reasoning is that as Katanga Hall residents are known to passionately advocate for students when the Student Representative Council (SRC) fails to counter decisions made by the University Council, he believes that the UC aims to reduce the hall’s strength by introducing women who are expected to be more complacent with decisions inflicted upon the school by the council.
Furthermore, Katanga Hall alumni believe that by introducing females to the hall, the Katanga Hall boys’ history will be permanently erased from the university.
Moreover, Alumni President, Charles Dontoh, fears that with the introduction of females into the school, male students who are resident in the hall may be tempted, and thus the wellbeing of the young women could be compromised.
However, according to the University Relations Officer, this is not the first time in which a boys’ hall is being converted to accommodate additional female students.
Between the 1980s and 1990s, three boys halls; namely, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Republic Hall and Independence Hall were all converted into mixed halls. Although, the university did not face any of the aforementioned problems during these periods of change.
Consequently, Mr Yeboah is baffled as to why
the university’s decision has been met with such backlash.
He concluded by stating that KNUST is very likely to go ahead with their plans in spite of the sentiments of Katanga Hall alumni.